Summary: Many Christians struggle with Evolutionary Science apparently contradicting the Bible. As we look at the evidence again, as some scientists reach what they think is the pinnacle of their achievement and knowledge, we find that the theologian has been sit
Creation or Evolution?
“In the beginning, God …” says the Bible. “In the beginning, goo …” say the evolutionists. Scientist Harold Hill, rather tongue-in-cheek, suggests that we have come “from goo to you by way of the zoo”! Our school education system now requires that all learners are taught Evolution as scientific fact. Are they are trying to make monkeys out of our grandparents?
So, creation or evolution. Does it really matter? Isn’t it all just a non-issue? Is the Bible simply out of date? For many people, whether we descend from an ape or from Adam means nothing at all. But for others it means a great deal … because if the Bible can be proved wrong at one point then what else could be wrong? How much of the Bible can we really believe? Isn’t it all just a lot of stories?
And if something is taught as scientific FACT when actually it is only scientific THEORY, isn’t that being dishonest? So what do we BELIEVE – creation or evolution or something in between?
In starting, let me say that this is how I make sense of this debate. There are many Christians who would hold other views. Some Christians believe in evolution, others in creation. Some scientists believe in evolution, others in creation. So, while I usually preach with the authority of 2000 years of theology behind me, in this instance what I share is simply ideas that help me. Thoughts that I hope may be helpful to you, too, if you are also struggling with this question!
Let me also say that whether you believe in creation, or in evolution, is not going to affect your eternal salvation in the least!
Let’s start by clarifying some concepts:
The Bible is quite clear that God created the universe, and the earth and all that is in it. He shaped the earth, he separated the land from the sea. He made the plants and the animals, the fish of the sea and the birds of the air. And he did it all in seven days, according the Genesis. That’s the story of creation.
The Theory of Evolution on the other hand says that the original life developed, by accident, in the primal swamp as the earth was being formed – a simple one-cell organism that slowly, over billions of years, changed (evolved) into higher and higher life forms. Today, all of life comes from that original source.
No matter how we look at it, … these are two fairly different theories! And I’m using the word ‘theory’ intentionally. Neither is a ‘proof’. In terms of the scientific method, for something to be a ‘proof’ it needs to be repeatable – time after time after time. And, of course, neither creation nor evolution can be observed being repeated. At best, some scientists point to this or that event or occurrence which they say ‘supports the theory’. But often other scientists will dispute them.
Another concept that we need to understand is the term “Natural Selection”. Natural Selection is the process of ‘Grand Evolution’ – the way in which evolution take place. To use a very simple example: A dark rat in a dark forest is less likely to be seen by a predator than a white rat (one that stands out against the fallen leaves on the forest floor, perhaps). As a result, the life expectancy of the dark rat is longer than that of the white rat. Therefore, over a long period of time, it’s very likely that all white rats will disappear because, being caught sooner, many of them will not live to sexually reproductive age and so the white colour gene will slowly die out. Dark rats will be more likely to thrive.
Natural selection works by slowly removing the weakest, most vulnerable specimens and encouraging the adaptations and variations that are most useful and are able to survive better. As that process continues for billions of years, one species can even turn into another, Evolutionists claim – and so fish learn to walk, amphibians turn into reptiles, scaly creatures grow hair or wings and learn to fly!
And at that point my (admittedly very limited) brain says “Huh?!” (And we haven’t even got to the part, yet, about chimpanzees turning into my granny!) It starts to sound like … well, science fiction, doesn’t it?!
Now, let me say at this point that there are many scientists who agree with the idea of natural selection but not with the full theory of Grand Evolution.
Let’s consider some of the questions raised when we take natural selection to the point of apparent science fiction. Darwin himself said:
Natural selection can only act by the preservation and accumulation of in-fin-tes-imally small inherited modifications, each profitable to the preserved being.